People Just Love My Pictures

Star Fish on Beach

Recently while browsing the web I’ve found several different photographs of mine being used as avatars. And I definitely know that these haven’t been licensed (paid for). So I decided to do a search for one photograph in particular, the star fish on the beach, using TinEye. It came up with over 75 results of where this picture was being used on the web, and not one was a licensed usage. I’ve posted 4 of them below. Now, it’s very flattering that people love my pictures so much and would want to use them, but it would also be nice if they paid for them as well.

I’m quite sure that most of these people don’t realize that they’re breaking the law with copyright infringement by using these pictures and that they can be invoiced/sued for the usage.  Just because you find something on the web, that doesn’t give you permission or license to use it as you see fit, it’s not free! This isn’t anything new in the world of copyright, if you’re interested in finding out more legal information a good web site is Photo Attorney by Carolyn E. Wright.

Now Goggle has just made it easier and faster for people to steal photos with OffiSync 2.0 which is a plug-in for Microsoft Office. If you have any photos on the web and particularly if you make your living from photography, I would strongly suggest that you make sure that they are copyrighted in the IPTC Description data field and I would also put a visible copyright or your name on the image. In the past I’ve put my name on only a few photos, thinking that it distracts from the picture. Well from this date forward all of the images that I post will have my name visibily on them and then I’ll start to work my way back through the rest of them.

Every month on my sales statement from the stock agency that represents me, there is at least one invoice to a company that has had an unauthorized use of a photograph. There was one case where a photographic supplier had lifted my entire article, text and photos on photographing fireworks, without asking permission or even giving me a credit line. They PAID for that!

Web sites with Unauthorized use of photo Click for larger view



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